Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Exercise, Vitamin D Can Lower Fall Risk in Elderly

Task Force Reviewed More Than 50 Studies
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 29, 2012 -- Older people can reduce their risk for serious falls by exercising regularly and taking vitamin D supplements, an expert panel now says.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force panel found "convincing evidence" that exercise or physical therapy and vitamin D supplementation can help reduce the risk of falls in people aged 65 and older.

Researchers reviewed more than 50 clinical trials to assess the benefits and harms of different strategies for preventing falls in older adults living in the community outside of nursing homes and other assisted-living centers.

Falls in the Elderly Underreported

Falls are a leading cause of serious injury and the leading cause of nursing home entry among the elderly.

Risks for falls include older age, a history of falls, and difficulty getting around.

As many as 40% of people aged 65 and older living outside of nursing homes fall at least once a year, and up to 10% of those who fall will suffer fractures, lacerations, or head injuries.

Falls are also widely underreported, geriatric physician Gisele Wolf-Klein, MD, tells WebMD.

Wolf-Klein is director of geriatric education at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

"Elderly people who fall often don't tell their doctor or their children or even their spouse," she says. "They are often ashamed or fearful that they will be perceived as frail and dependent."

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing